Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education

What happens if you become the teacher you don't want to be?
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Author:  Cory Rycroft [ Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  What happens if you become the teacher you don't want to be?

I always wonder if I'm one of those future teachers that don't make it, you know those teachers that move on to another profession within five years of beginning teaching. I want to say that I'm going to retire as a teacher, but there is know way to tell what the future holds for any of us. When we had the discussion in class about teachers getting their buttons pushed, I thought that could never be me, or could it? It's kind of scary thinking about teaching and letting just one student mess up an entire class for you just because of a disagreement. Sometimes the student may be right as well as times when you are right, but you can't forget that there are also times when no one is right or wrong and each of you are just seeing the solution from different perspectives. I'm going to try to keep that in mind when a student and I do not see eye to eye.

Author:  Emily Fox [ Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:21 pm ]
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I actually just got out of a class in which the professor sort of "warned" us and prepared us, saying that to be a teacher you must have emotional stamina. As teachers, we are going to see many things; many things that are wonderful and exciting and many things that are sad, challenging, and make you down-right mad. So, throughout all of the things we see, we must remain strong in our emotions and let that strength keep us going to the next day and the next year, and so on. I don't think you have to know all of the answers to your questions to be a great and successful teacher. By that, I don't mean the answers to your questions on tests or subject area, I mean the questions about yourself and how you will respond or succeed. However, I think it's important to stay focused on your own true goal and your own purpose for why you are in the field you are in. Despite all of the hardships and trials we will face as human beings and as teachers, we just have to stay focused on why we are there in the first place. I think if you remind yourself of that everyday before and after you see your students, everything will come into perspective.

Author:  Kristen Bumgarner [ Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:32 pm ]
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Being in that same class as Emily where the professor spoke about emotional stamina, it reallys turned my mind to thinking about how there's so much more than just a day by day teaching. I really understand why Dr. Turner puts these hard situations in front of us. I also agree with Emily in another thread where she mentions that instead of just saying that we don't know how we'll act until we get there, we must truly think of our gut answer to those hard questions. I'm very guitly of using that "excuse" just to get myself out of thinking about touchy subjects and possibly pressing others buttons. If anyone is like me, they avoid confrontation and just go along with things often just to "keep the peace" so to say. Because it is because we're thinking of these things now so that we may build our "emotional stamina" early so we can become better educators in the future.

Author:  Maria Parker [ Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:46 pm ]
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I have often worried about entering the teaching world as well, and having my "bubble bursted." I was inspired (and I know this is very young) at the age of 12 by a music teacher. I have always said that I want to give back and inspire children just the way she inspired me, but I know it's not all that "magical." It can be a very rewarding experience, but I'm trying to prepare myself for the bad days, and for the times that I'm just trying to get used to being in front of the classroom rather than sitting in a desk as a student. I think that we all need to keep in mind why we're really there on the days that don't go so well. I know now that I'm in college, some days as a music major have been extremely hard and discouraging, but I always try to remember why I'm doing it, and sometimes I even call the lady who inspired me in such a powerful way. I agree with Emily when she said that we need to stay focused on our own goals and purpose.

Author:  katie h lewis [ Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:55 pm ]
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I really can relate to you Maria. I was also inspired at a very young age to become a Physical Education teacher, by my very own elem. school PE teacher. She was wonderful in inspiring me, and I have grown up saying that I couldn't wait to do the same thing to one of my students. In my field experience throughout my time here at ASU I have been often discouraged when working with younger kids thinking, is this what I am really made out for? Along with what Maria said about keeping our goals and purpose in focus I believe it is also important to be realistic. Not everyday is going to be perfect, where kids are inspired by your every move, but you have to keep chugging. I am sure that Maria's music teacher, as well as, my PE teacher had days too when they thought they were not cut out for the job. We are all in a very unique field of teaching, where each day will bring a new adventure. We just have to remember to laugh at our mistakes, and make fun of the madness!!

Author:  Paige Colbath [ Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:26 pm ]
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I think that we all have some sort of fear associated with becoming a teacher. I, for one, am scared to death. What if I can't become that great teacher that every student loves? Like all of the people that have posted on this thread, I had some pretty wonderful elementary teachers when I was in elementary school. They were artistic, creative, sweet, kind, helping and thoughtful. Now, going through tutoring and observing, I'm realizing that being all of those things isn't going to be the easiest job ever. I get aggravated, annoyed, and impatient with kids when they don't understand something. I think all of those traits are the downfall of many teachers. Hopefully I can learn now how to control those emotions, and deal with students how my elementary teachers did.
I believe that one of the reasons many people who start out in teaching and soon move to another career is the thought of failure in the classroom. I've heard the first year is the hardest, and some people just can't take it. Although I have no teaching experience whatsoever, I believe teaching is what you make of it. You have to be believe in yourself to be able to believe in your kids and teach them. You probably won't become that "perfect" teacher that you envisioned yourself being in that first year, but if you persevere and try, then you might just get to that "great" teacher status. I think then, the question that comes up is, how can you take the steps, the building blocks, to being that best teacher?

Author:  Jennifer Redmond [ Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:35 pm ]
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I can't honestly say that I was inspired to become a teacher at a very young age. This inspiration did not come until much later when I found myself tutoring after school Music Theory students and teaching second grade Spanish for a semester (which all occured in high school). I think the delay in inspiration may have been because of a lack of example. I've always loved teaching others, but all of the teachers in my earlier life appeared to be quite miserable. Most of those teachers were impatient, unkind, angry people-- the exact kind of teacher I do not wish to become five or ten years from now.
I once read an article that stated "many teachers first enter into the field with great enthusiasm only to leave with great enthusiasm five years later". I think this is due to the lack of reality the teachers are presented with. Granted, commitment is much needed ,as Thursday's readings suggest; however a lack of realistic goals may be a part of the failure. Many teachers enter the field assuming that everyday is going to be bright and sunny, with well behaved children, no classroom interruptions, or disgruntled parents. I think once, not just teachers, but all young adults who are transitioning into the employment part of their lives, realize that there IS no "perfect" anything, and envisioning yourself being so is just setting yourself up for failure, then the sooner we can work towards being the best anything we CAN be. So, I think the first step to becoming the best teacher is to become aquainted with the reality that there is no perfect teacher, just 'great' teachers. The second step would be to realize there are going to be bad days and to prepare for it.

Author:  zach yokley [ Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:15 pm ]
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I know we have all seen great teachers and incredibly bad teachers, I know I have. And while it is true that as a teacher you must have emotional stamina, we must also be able to step back each and every day after teaching and review our actions and ask ourselves if we were the teacher we wanted to be or not. Change is always possible and if we are honest with ourselves we can always correct our wrongs and strive for excellence. Mediocrity comes from passiveness. If you want to be a great teacher and do it for the rest of your life you must have emotional stamina and the ablity to be critical of one's faults.

Author:  Anna Gay [ Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:30 am ]
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I can honestly say that this forum is very realistic and very honestly deals with a fear of mine as well. Pretty much echoing the words of everyone else, I too am fearful of teaching. I am fearful of being too strict/not strict enough, being walked on, having parents dislike me, having students not learn anything, etc. I don't want to be labeled, "oh well she's that new teacher". I want to be labeled as, "oh she's that awesome new teacher that graduated from ASU and knows what she's doing. " Will I really know what I'm doing though? I have to admit as an english, secondary ed major, I don't know how prepared I'm going to be. I feel as though elementary ed majors are given so much more time in the schools and so many more classes on on how to teach, but us secondary majors are going crazy trying to learn everything there is to learn about our subject matter. I'm a little worried.

We all have had good teachers and bad teachers, and like many of you said, I too, was inspired by one of my great ones! I want to be a great teacher that inspires my students to truly learn, not just to do well in class. I want to them to grasp the concepts I'm teaching and be able to apply them in their real lives. I want them to see why what I'm saying is useful. I have several other goals as well, and I agree with what you guys said, in that we have to keep our focus on our goals and what we want to accomplish and then give it everything we've got to make those happen.

Author:  Clay Moore [ Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:44 am ]
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All this about having good and bad teachers I can definitely relate to. I would have to say one of the main reasons for my career choice is because of a select few teachers that influenced me throughout the years. I always think how great it would be to have a student not just leave my class having learned something but continue his/her education looking back on my class as one that they will never forget. I feel like as I continue my education and get closer to becoming a teacher I find myself second guessing my career choice I would say because of fear. Fear that when my "conflict" with another teacher, student, or parent occurs which I know it will, am I going to be able to recover or will it just lead to more incidents that drive me away from this profession. Don't get me wrong I love teaching and I want to say I will be doing it until I retire but the statistics show not all stick with it. Hopefully this is something I can overcome.

Author:  Cory Rycroft [ Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:49 am ]
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I agree with you Clay when it comes to having influences on the students that you teach. Personally my choice to be a physical education major has a lot to do with my high school PE teacher. It's amazing how one person can influence what your career decision is.

Author:  Tracy Gardo [ Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:32 pm ]
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Like others have said we have all probably been influenced by a past teacher. I had always thought that I wanted to be a teacher, since I was like five, but it wasn’t until I got into the sixth grade that I realized teaching was my calling. I had a HORRIBLE teacher, she thought she knew everything and talked to all her students like they were beneath her. Since then I have felt that I have to teach in order to show students that school can be enjoyable and hopefully teach them something they can take with them for the rest of their lives. I have a passion for teaching, now whether or not I will be good at it is a question that I would like to know the answer too.

Author:  Brynne Pulver [ Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:38 pm ]
Post subject:  The Teacher You Don't Want to Become

Unlike a lot of people, I didn't start out here at Appalachian as a Music Education major. I delved into education a year and a half into my life here for many reasons, one prominent reason being that I could see myself happy as a teacher. I believe that teaching is what you make of it. No one can say for certain how anyone will turn out as an educator, but I would like to believe that I have the power to change anything that I don't like about the way I teach. Having emotions as a teacher is a completely human thing, and I think it can also help to teach if you channel your emotions in the right direction. It is hard not to fly off the handle if something really bothers you, but in some ways this could be an effective tool to teach, because if you are able to change the way in which you communicate this emotion, students may possibly relate to you more because they see that you are human also. Being happy as a teacher has a lot to do with the way your students see you, and if you build healthy and professional relationships with your students, I believe that you can effectively control yourself and the atmosphere in a classroom.

Author:  Kimberly Smith [ Tue Sep 23, 2008 5:33 pm ]
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Anna, I'm so glad I'm not the only one that feels like secondary ed majors continue to learn new material rather than methods of teaching. I thought perhaps I had been taking the wrong education classes for awhile because all of mine have been geared toward elementary ed. I can't count the number of times I have talked about needing more methods classes rather than higher level math classes never seen in high school. Unfortunately, they are not built into our curriculum...the question is: what are we to do about it?

Author:  Kristen P. Helton [ Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:25 pm ]
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I agree with everybody mostly. Like most of you I am scared when i think about becoming a teacher. I want to be this teacher that has a vast amount of knowledge and can be there to answer questions that my students have, but lately i have been thinking thats not me at all. I don't know everything that i should in order to accomplish that. Also another reason that i became elementary ed is because i told myself i would have to hurt a high school student because they run their mouths way too much and they seem like they do not want to learn. I thought "hey these are small kids, they arent perfect but they should be better behaved". But from the discussion in class i started thinking that just because students are younger does not mean they will not back talk you or disrupt class. Kids today are not raised the way they were a long time ago and alot of them like to test their boundaries, and they will most definitely push your buttons. If you yell at a student you embarrass them and lose their respect. So what do you do? Do you just go through your job day by day hoping that each is better than the day before or do you cut and run?

Author:  Jessica Mundy [ Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:34 pm ]
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I think that future teachers are more often than not, influenced by their past teachers. I think teaching is much like preaching in that the person has to be "called" to that certain profession. I think that we can take the examples that our bad teachers set so we don't turn out like them. I also think it is important for teachers who don't want to teach anymore to get out. I think teachers who don't have that desire anymore, do more harm than they do good. My advice is to concentrate on what the best teachers did to set them apart from all others.

Author:  Cory Rycroft [ Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:32 pm ]
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It does take a special person to be a teacher, and much like a preacher is called to preach a teacher has to have some special qualities to last as a teacher. We do look back on past teachers and pick out good and bad qualities of the teachers we had. Even if we don't know that it is happening, past teachers will have some kind of influence on our teaching styles

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